U.S. AH-75 Striker Attack Helicopter:


There has been much criticism with the Striker attack helicopter. It is a relatively old design being designed only about two decades after the revolution in super strong materials. It was also designed just after the new fusion engines were developed for the use of aircraft. It was designed as an attack helicopter with the ability to carry troops and is similar in concept to the Soviet Hind helicopter. The design was planned to generally operate with support from either pure combat helicopter or VTOL aircraft. On the Tripoli class amphibious carrier, usually eight Striker attack helicopters are carried along with four Super Comanche Reconnaissance and Attack helicopters. It was also originally planned as an interim design with thrust based VTOL aircraft taking over the role. The problem was that the Navy / Marine always had higher priority designs which used up the available research and design budget and the program kept being pushed back. One large budget consuming project was the Ticonderoga class submersible carrier which ended up causing many programs to either be delayed or canceled. It suffered several delays and cost increases. The project which really put back the replacement program for the Striker replacement was the submersible Manta Ray submersible fighter design. Design work for a replacement aircraft for the Striker was not begun until the last few years of the Twenty-First Century and the coming of the Rifts interrupted the development.


Production of the Striker was continued until the coming of the Rifts continued in the United States until the coming of the Rifts and the destruction of the factories producing the helicopter although production was at a reduced rate compared to when it was introduced. The New Navy has built a small factory for manufacturing the Striker. Just before the coming of the Rifts, an improved version of the Striker was introduced. The New Navy has begun refitting their helicopters to this standard and all but a handful in New Navy service are of the upgraded version. The Striker attack helicopter was also sold to Great Britain and Japan and was operated from both Navies' amphibious vessels. It seems unlikely than any British helicopters survived but the Republic of Japan operates some of these helicopters in a variety of roles. The New Navy has not sold any of their helicopters but may sell them if a replacement aircraft is developed.


While the Army operated the Steel Tiger, the Army design was simply too large to operate from carriers and the aircraft was rejected for Marine service. While there was some discussion of a heavily armed version of the Kingfisher, it was perceived as being too large as well. The New Navy has also considered producing a heavier armed version of the Kingfisher, so far no development work has been started. In general the Striker was considered adequate for the jobs it is expected to perform by the United States Navy and the New Navy feels that way for the most part as well. Still, a replacement for the helicopter is likely to soon become a priority. One of the biggest problems is that there is a specific requirement that any aircraft can be stored in the same space as the Strike can.


One of the major differences the Striker has over other American attack helicopters is the ability to carry troops as well as being heavily armed. One of the major roles for the helicopter was for insertion in hostile areas and to be able to support the troops on the ground. The helicopter can carry up to eight troops or five in light power armor. In many cases, the helicopter will only carry six troops so that two door gunners can be carried. The crew of the helicopter is larger than that for most helicopters. There is a pilot, co-pilot (who also controls forward weapons), a secondary gunner who controls the ball turret mounted under the nose, and a flight engineer / communications technician. Often, the helicopter will operate without the flight tech.


The original prototype of the Striker used conventional turbine engines but it was planned from the beginning that production models would use fusion turbines. As a result of the prototype, some sources list the Striker as being available with conventional engines but this is incorrect. As well, some sources list that the aircraft is equipped for anti-submarine warfare. Originally, there was some consideration given to develop one but it never left the concept stage. Instead, the role was performed by advanced versions of the V-22 Osprey which was later replaced by the Kingfisher. The Striker carries the same systems carried on most attack helicopters. Instead of using a standard rear rotor, the Striker uses a pusher rotor which enables a much greater top speed. One interesting feature is the fact that the Striker is designed to be able to land on the surface of the water. The Helicopter has a winch and cargo sling. As a result, it can be used for light cargo carrying as well as for search and rescue missions.


The Striker is very heavily armed with both guns and missiles. Permanently mounted on the tip of the stub wings are large capacity mini-missile pods. It was decided that mini-missiles would almost always be needed and a permanent mounting would be very useful. Each missile pod carried twenty four mini-missiles. In addition, the helicopter has four hard points on the wings. Each hard point can carry four medium range missiles, eight short range missiles, or a mini-missile pod which carries sixteen mini-missiles. Mini-missile pods are most commonly carried and if the helicopter is only carrying mini-missile pods, the helicopter can carry a total of 112 mini-missiles. Often plasma warheads are carried and several Strikers, along with support aircraft, will totally clear an area for thousands of feet before troops even land. The original nose lasers in the helicopter are replaced by the lasers carried on the Sea Hawk fighter in final versions of the helicopter. This allows a general reduction in logistics as well as the new weapons being more powerful. The designers initially planned to mount rail guns instead of lasers. In the New Navy, some consideration has been given to replace the lasers with the variable pulse lasers carried on the versions of the Sea Hawk which have been refitted by the REEF along with upgrading the materials used for the fuselage. The REEF Commanchero is too tall for the hangers on the Ticonderoga so it cannot be adopted. Original striker helicopters were also armed with an M-220 Squad Automatic Pulse Laser Rifle mounted in a nose mounted turret controlled by the secondary gunner. The weapon is very useful for laying down cover fire for landings. In the newest version, this is replaced by an US M-260 Squad Automatic Pulse Ion Rifle which is mounted in the same fashion. The helicopter has positions for two door gunners. A variety of weapons can be carried including rail guns, pulse energy weapons, and grenade launchers.


Model Type:AH-75AOriginal Striker attack helicopter
AH-75HUpgraded Striker attack helicopter
Class: Helicopter Gun ship & Combat Transport
Crew: Four (Pilot, co-pilot/gunner, flight engineer / communications technician and a secondary gunner) Two additional crew-members are often carried to man door-guns.
Troops: Six troops in body armor or four light power armor units (Two additional troops or one additional light power armor can be carried if door-gunners are not carried)


M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Four-Blade Top Rotor:92 (23 each blade)
[1] Rear Pusher Rotor:75
Stub Wings for Ordnance:80 each
Mini-Missile Launchers (2; wings):50 each
Medium-Range Missile Launchers (4, wing and top)50 each
[2] Belly Gun (1):65
[2] Nose Lasers (2)35 each
Pontoon Runners (2):90 each
Cargo Bay Doors:60
Side Doors (2):40 each
Reinforced Pilot’s Compartment:110
[3] Main Body:275


Notes:
[1] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Striker, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
[2] indicated hit locations are small and/or difficult targets to hit. An attacker must make a called shot and has a -3 penalty as well.
[3] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.


Speed:
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive runways.
Ocean, Surface Travel: Can Float on the surface or can travel on the surface of the water like a boat with a top speed of 69.1 mph (111.2 kph / 60 knots)
Flying: The Striker can hover stationary, VTOL, and travel at a maximum flight speed of 300 mph (480 kph / 260.5 knots) with a maximum ceiling (altitude) of 20,000 feet (6,096 meters.) Cruising and attack speed vary, but tend to be between 100 and 200 mph (160 to 329 kph) and it has excellent VTOL capabilities.
Maximum Effective Range: The nuclear energy source gives the Striker continual power but the jets overheat after 10 hours of continual use at speeds above 100 mph. or four hours if going above 200 mph (329 km). Going at 100 mph or below with occasional rest stops will allow the helicopter to travel for 40 continuous hours.


Statistical Data:
Height: 15 feet (4.6 meters)
Width: Body: 10 feet (3.0 in) wide; wingspan: 17 feet. 2 inches (5.23 m); main rotors have a diameter of 50 feet (15.2 m). Rotors can be folded up and wings can be removed to reduce storage requirements.
Length: 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Weight: 10 tons (9.1 metric tons) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average lifespan of 10 years.
Cargo: Limited, 1,200 lbs (544 kg) instead of passengers. Can carry 1,600 lbs (726 kg) if the helicopter does not carry door gunners. The helicopter can sling up to 700 pounds (315 kg) underneath. Cargo loads do not include external hard points.
Black Market Cost: Not available. Currently only available to the New Navy and Republic of Japan. If the Striker was sold, it would cost around 30 million credits for an early model and 32 million for an upgraded model.


Weapon Systems:

  1. Forward Mounted Lasers (2): A laser is mounted on each side of the front of the helicopter. The lasers are designed for helicopter defense and for ground strafing. The weapons are controlled by the main gunner and are usually linked to helmet controls. While the mounts face forward, the guns can be positioned up and down 30 degrees and side to side 20 degrees. Originally, a rail gun was planned for the forward mount and there is strong consideration to replace the lasers with the same lasers carried on the Super Hawk upgraded fighter. The lasers carried on the Super Hawk are virtually identical to the Triax TX-41 Laser pulse rifle and are also variable frequency to produce greater effects against laser resistant materials.
    1. Original Lasers: One of the first laser systems mounted on an aircraft and while short ranged, were considered very powerful for the time that they were produced. Still, the weapons are considered underpowered compared to weapons carried on many other designs.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3000 feet (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: A single blast is 4D6 M.D., or a simultaneous dual blast is 1D4x10+8 M.D.
      Rate of Fire: Equal the gunner's number of hand to hand attacks.
      Payload: Effectively unlimited.
    2. Upgraded Lasers: These lasers are identical to the lasers carried on the Sea Hawk class fighter and are about twenty percent more powerful and have better range than the original lasers. Most Striker helicopters operated by the New Navy mount these upgraded lasers.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1220 meters)
      Mega-Damage: A single blast is 5D6 M.D., or a simultaneous dual blast is 1D6xl0 M.D.
      Rate of Fire: Equal the gunner's number of hand to hand attacks.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  2. Belly Turret (1): The helicopter carries an energy weapon mount under the helicopter towards the nose. The weapon is controlled by the secondary gunner through the use of helmet display which operate in a similar fashion to virtual reality goggles. Basically, the gunner sees where ever the cannon is pointed and has target cross-hairs to show where the weapon is targeting. The mount can rotate 360 degrees so it can fire at enemies from behind and on the sides. It also has a 90 degree arc of fire allowing the weapon to target directly bellow the helicopter. The weapon is usually used for suppressive fire but is useful at destroying the heaviest body armors and vehicles.
    1. US M-220 Automatic Pulse Laser: Modified version of the pulse laser carried by troops as a squad automatic weapon until replaced by the M-260 Pulse Ion weapon. Unlike the troop carried version of the weapon, the laser plugs directly into the Helicopter's fusion power system and has virtually unlimited shots.
      Maximum Effective Range: 1600 feet (610 meters)
      Mega Damage: 2D6 per single shot, 6D6 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Rate of Fire: Equal the secondary gunner's number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
    2. US M-260 Automatic Pulse Ion Weapon: Modified version of the pulse ion weapon by troops as a quadr automatic weapon which replaced the M-220. Unlike the troop carried version of the weapon, the ion weapon plugs directly into the Helicopter's fusion power system and has virtually unlimited shots.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 meters)
      Mega Damage: 4D6 per single shot, 1D6x10+10 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Rate of Fire: Equal the secondary gunner's number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Side Door Gunner Mounts: The Striker has two positions for door gunner. While the rail guns are the most popular, Grenade launchers are sometimes carried for greater damage. These weapon systems are normally used when trying to protect the helicopter while it is dropping troops. The door guns cannot be used if the vehicle is traveling over 100 mph (161 kph)
    1. USA-M31 Rail Gun: This rail gun is carried on C-40R and is from the original Pre-Rifts SAMAS design. It has fewer bursts and is heavier but the rail gun inflicts more damage than the C-40R.
      Weight: 110 lbs (50 kg) for the Rail gun and 190 lbs (86.2 kg) for the ammo drum.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters)
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D6x10, a single round does 1D4+1
      Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4-6).
      Payload: 2,000 round drum for 50 bursts.
    2. AGL-40 Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is similar to have a post Rifts WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher mounted in a turret but fires a slightly smaller round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 ft (914 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4-6).
      Payload: 800 Rounds
    3. US M-220 Squad Automatic Pulse Laser Rifle: Special Pulse laser rifle based off of the M-120, was considered quite effective and allows for the ability to fire single shot, three round bursts, and extended bursts. Performed the role of light machine gun after replacing the M-LP-68 until the introduction of the M-260 Rifle. The weapon does not have the ability to use two E-clips like the M-260 but has more shots per E-clip. Normally connected to the Helicopter's power supply so that e-clips are not needed.
      Maximum Effective Range: 1600 feet (610 meters)
      Mega Damage: 2D6 per single shot, 6D6 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Rate of Fire: Equal the door gunner's number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited while connected Helicopter's power supply (40 shots short E-Clip, 50 Shots each long E-Clip).
    4. US M-260 Squad Automatic Pulse Ion Rifle: Powerful Ion Rifle introduced just before the coming of the Rifts which fills much the same role as the early Twentieth Century SAW. Like the M-160 Combat Rifle, which was introduced just previously, the weapon had only been issued to forward deployed troops and few have been found in North America. The weapon is capable of firing single shot, three round bursts, and extended bursts (equal to machine guns.) An interesting provision is the fact the weapon actually can use two E-clips at the same time. Normally connected to the Helicopter's power supply so that e-clips are not needed.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 meters)
      Mega Damage: 4D6 per single shot, 1D6x10+10 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Rate of Fire: Equal the door gunner's number of hand to hand attacks - Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (See Machine Gun burst rules).
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited while connected Helicopter's power supply (20 shots short E-Clip, 30 shots long E-Clip - Weapon can use up to 2 E-Clips at the same time).
  4. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A large mini-missile launcher is mounted on the tips of each stub wing. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. The weapon has a much larger punch than the laser cannons and is controlled by the pilot.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: forty-eight (48) total; twenty-four (24) mini-missiles in each launcher.
  5. Ordnance Hard Points (4): The helicopter has a total of two hard points on each detachable stub wing. The helicopter can carry either eight short range missiles, four medium range missiles, or one mini missile pod on each hard point.
    1. Short or Medium Range Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missile and missile. One medium range missile may be substituted for two short range missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be same range missiles.
      Payload: eight (8) short range missiles or four (4) medium range missiles per hard point (for a maximum of 32 short range or 16 medium range missiles)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. These pods are not carried on the body of the aircraft but are only carried on the wings. The Aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-missiles and can be linked with other mini-missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
  6. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located on the sides of the helicopter are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Effect:
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)


Features of Note:
Consider the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:




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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2002, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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